Battery separator films are permeable membranes which are placed between electrodes having opposite polarity. The films prevent the electrodes from coming in contact, but allow the ionic movement. Separator films are of key importance in a battery. The separator films should be insulating in nature and have the capability of conducting ions. The ion conducting property is imparted to the films by soaking them into an electrolyte solution.
The processes which decrease the energy efficiency of the batteries must be avoided. A wide array of factors are considered before selecting a separator film for a battery. The characteristics of the separator film must be studied carefully in order to minimize the energy losses.
Some important factors which must be considered while selecting a separator film are insulation property, minimum electrolyte resistance, dimensional stability, physical strength, wetting properties, and uniformity in thickness. The process of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries comprises a wet process and dry process. A polyolefin resin is melted to form a thin film in the dry process. Likewise, a hydrocarbon liquid or other low molecular weight liquid is mixed with polyolefin resin to manufacture films employing the wet process.
The global battery separator films market is estimated to expand due to widespread usage of cell phones, laptops, and other wireless electronics. In terms of type, the global market of battery separator films can be segmented into molded, woven, non-woven, micro-porous, bonded, and papers. Microporous separator films are fabricated from a variety of inorganic, naturally occurring, and organic materials which contain pores of sizes 50? to 100? in diameter.
Microporous separator films are manufactured from nylon, cotton, glass, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, rubber, asbestos, wood, or a combination of two or three materials together. The market of battery separator films can also be segmented, on the basis of type of batteries, into aqueous and non-aqueous batteries. The market of non-aqueous batteries is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to its major usage in electronic gadgets.
Robust demand for high power batteries for usage in 4G mobiles and the increasing production of consumer electronic gadgets are anticipated to fuel the demand of battery separator films during the forecast period. The battery separator films market has demonstrated immense growth over the last few years in portable rechargeable batteries.
In terms of region, the global battery separator films market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is projected to be the dominant region in term of consumption. In the last few years, the production of lithium-ion batteries has increased in South Korea and China, which is augmenting the consumption of separator films.
Companies operating in the global battery separator films market are adopting aggressive marketing tactics and the strategy of mergers and acquisitions in order to expand their market share. They are investing significantly in research and development of technologies in order to improve quality of their separator films in order to optimize the energy efficiency of the battery. Additionally, companies are utilizing exports as a tool for geographical expansion in emerging economies in Middle East & Africa.
Key players operating in the global battery separator films market include DuPont, ENTEK, Teijin Limited, Toray Industries Inc., Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Targray Technology International Inc, and Coperion GmbH.